Can African Mango supplements help dieters lose weight? Maybe.
African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) has been a hot topic of conversation as a diet aid. It goes by many names: wild mango, bush mango, dika, and ogbono. When the fruit is split apart, a single kernel-filled seed lies within. This seed is rich in fatty acids, polysaccharides, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Extracts from the seed are used as dietary supplements that purportedly promote weight loss and improve metabolism.
But do these pills work?
There hasn’t been enough research conducted to definitively say that African Mango extracts can cause weight loss. The scientific studies that have been conducted suffer from some issues, including small sample sizes, methodological flaws, lack of long-term longitudinal data, issues with generalizability from studies conducted on animals or in cultures, and potential conflicts of interest. As a result, any claims should be examined critically.
That said, some interesting data has emerged, and some promising results have been collected. A double-blind randomized study of 40 human participants found that subjects who took African mango experienced significant decreases in body weight. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol”) were also shown to be lower in the experimental group than in the control group. Additionally, the experimental subjects’ levels of HDL-cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “good cholesterol”) increased.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that included 48 overweight human subjects showed some weight loss effects among subjects who took African mango. However, it took several weeks for the weight reduction effects to be measurable. The experimental group also showed significant improvement in lipid measurements.
Another double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 102 healthy human subjects analyzed the effects a proprietary African mango seed extract. Several favorable results concerning body weight and metabolic parameters were observed in the experimental group that took the extract.
A systematic literature review that collected and analyzed research on several medicinal plants with purported anti-obesity properties was conducted in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. This exhaustive review noted that while African mango extract showed some beneficial weight loss effects in several studies, it was not shown to be as effective as many of the other plants included in the review.
There are some potential pitfalls to consider when looking for African mango diet pills on the market. A recent peer-reviewed study analyzed several commercial products claiming to contain African mango extracts. The researchers used ultra high-performance liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry to analyze the contents of the products. The results showed that many products contained little or no African mango material, which is concerning to supplement consumers.
Additionally, use of African mango diet pills may potentially result in side effects. The most common reported side effects have included headaches, gas, and difficulty sleeping. There has been one reported case study of acute toxic hepatitis after a patient took African mango capsules.
The bottom line is that while some of the initial research shows promising leads, more research is needed to conclusively determine the effectiveness of African mango for weight loss.